“Minga Pill” Installation February 2016

Happy Sunday.  My installation Mingapill starts tomorrow at Odeonsplatz, Munich, Germany and will exhibit for the full month of February 2016.

I had two weeks to work on this installation and I’m happy with what I created. The art piece is inspired by this photo that I snapped at Odeonsplatz and flipped into black and white.

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For the installation, I took the black and white image, printed it and dipped the prints in encaustic wax.  the four blank pills have additional ink on the black sections (I was testing to see if it made any difference.) The artwork looked better with just encaustic over the digital print so I used the inked versions for the blank pills separating the two sides so that I can make a version that is coloured and backlit.  I already know that backlighting doesn’t really work in this window so I kept the piece simple and ready for the scorching light of the window.

The pills are hung on fabric using magnets.  Here is everything looking perfect at the studio.


Originally I was going to have a second layer in the visual plane between the pills and the video but after contemplating the space a bit more, I decided that it wasn’t needed.  I decided to keep the piece simple enough that people who are seeing it from a distance can enjoy it.

The text for the video comes from the following flash fiction piece I wrote last week.  Here is the first draft of Mingapill

Its a hard pill to swallow 

but you know you want to try

what the candyman has to offer 

so freely

even though its big and bitter and leaves

something to be desired.

You’ll Grab one

no doubt about it.

It’s a hard pill to swallow

Scraping down 

it may even scar you 

in places no one can see.

The candyman 

he waxed his way in 


You can handle it, I’m sure

Just Pick one.  There all the same,  

no sugar coating to ease the pain,

cause you never said 

you wanted wonderland

and you’ll settle for whatever

comes your way.

Nothing wrong with that.

It’s a hard pill to swallow and leaves something to be desired and

Mingaland is where you’ll land.

 Once I wanted one

cause I never wanted wonderland 

until now.

First draft wich means that as I was editing the video, I changed the words.  It felt wrong to repeat lines in the video and I didn’t want to focus on Candyman.  The candyman is a man from the southern part of the US who gives away sexual favours for stuff- a sort of gigolo which is what I’m referring to in the story but, I didn’t want people to think of the other two meanings – a drug dealer or, a horror story character so I cut out candyman and focused on talking to a person and their decision to eat a minga pill.

Here is the new text:

originally the video was going to be old creative commons footage but it didn’t go with the pills so I scraped the video and just focused on the text to go with the pills and used the photograph of myself with those pill shapes all over my face.  As I was making the video, I was thinking about that fortune teller box where there is a face and it tells you what will happen. so I’m the fortune teller in the video box.

fortune teller image

I love living in Munich but at the same time I find it very difficult to accept the back off until it’s proven to work attitude. Luckily even after 10 years, I still have the optimistic American attitude I was raised on and I’m willing to trudge my way forward. The only difference now is that I’m not worrying whether other people settle for less then what they deserve.  I see it now as their right to settle and my right to move on which is what I’m saying with the Minga Pill.

Here is the final installation in the window.


I moved the video screen right in front like the fortune teller’s box. I bought the black stand after creating the pill wall piece. I think I may print some more pills and add a bottom row if I show it again.

I may edit the video and make it smoother and add my face to “the swallow” text.  It is the only segment without the face. Initially I had several of those black spots with just words but I changed all of them to the gypsy face…. The video in the installation will remain the way it is because I don’t want to keep opening and closing the big glass window and I’m ok with the video as it is, it can just be better which is what I will work on a bit this week.

It is amazing how many hours you can spend editing a two minute video.  My favourite part of the video is the last bit which is inspired by my encaustic artworks on LED boards.

If I had a scorching spotlight like the ones in the Window, I may have gone with just plain paper instead of the encaustic pieces because I can see every drip of wax and scratch from moving them around. They were so beautiful when I first made them.  It is very humbling to see how imperfect they all are and how something printed digitally can be made to look handmade and used.

If you are in Munich, please go check out the installation.  I will be giving away a few more pills for Free art Friday.  I gave away one pill last Friday. I hope the person likes it.


yup. So that is my installation notes.  I had a thousand ideas floating around in my head but this one latched on and things flowed. The video was a bit of a snag point but once I stopped using creative commons footage, I was ok.  I’m guessing this is something to remember, I shall stick with my own footage in the future to avoid wasting time.



A Day in the Life of Munich Artists

My iphone has a wiggly photo quirk which is not acceptable for my art nor for the website so I broke down yesterday and purchased an A6000 Sony as my backup camera.

I took the Sony out for a spin today with mixed results.  I decided to share those results with you. When I take photos with my canon or my iphone, I’m pretty stingy shooting so I don’t have to wade through 100s of photos.  Today,  I let myself snap and took  100 photos this morning holding the camera through my sunroof, next to the window, as I walked without trying to focus on composition.  The end result is a bit crazy but is an accurate record of my day from 600 until 1300.  (WARNING: Lots of photos)

600 Walk the Dogs


Zoe and Winston wondering why I’m on the computer before taking them for a walk.


back of my door with all the dog leashes


800 Leave to turn on Installation at Odeonsplatz



This cleaning crew guy did not want his photo taken because he said he wasn’t sure where I would use it. I told him I was an artist and I was photographing cute men. He thought that was funny but I didn’t try snapping another photo. His suit is bright orange.  This needed to be in color.




I like this photo.




I like this shot.



I like this shot.

930 Visit Art Installation At ISPO



I like this shot.


I liked the sticker.


I like this shot.





1330 Drive to Gerstaecker art store 


1420 Leave art store and head home through the city (photos are not in order)




1500 Home


I like this photo a lot.


Favourite shot of the day


I used black and white most of the day but I have the camera set in raw format plus JPG so the files are both in Jpg and raw in case I want them in colour for the seven that are my favourites.


From the raw photography workshop I took last year, many of the shots I took today would be mood shots adding to the overall feeling of the composition. I’m still working on incorporating some of raw elements into my artistic style.

I will be working on my Feb installation video tomorrow and installing the magnets on the fabric so the artwork stays up on the wall for 28 days. If you want to see the installation, you can see it at Odeonsplatz during the month of February 2016.

If you want to visit the studio, I will be back at Frauenstrasse 18 on Friday from 1000 until 1500 and then on Monday.





Work in Progress: Take a Minga Pill (Chill Pill)

Work in Progress.   I took this photo earlier in the week and pivoted my installation to incorporate a pill called a Minga Pill.  It is based on the chill pill.  The people in Munich are more laid back than in other areas of Germany (As chilled as Germans can get.)

The pill is referencing the Matrix.  I never seem to leave Munich so what does that say about my reality and the choices I make?  Have I ingested a Minga Pill? If I take one of the other pills will I end up in another reality?

The installation I’m creating is for the whole month of Feb. and Valentine’s day is smack dab in the middle of the month. The installation working title is “I pierced your heart and you shattered my soul” which is uplifting and romantic, right?


Here is the initial layout of the Minga Pills dipped in encaustic. There will be two layers for the installation but only the front layer will be visible in that display window with the super bright lights (I’m not attempting to backlight these.)   Instead, I will have a second layer to the installation that is on LED boards that are super bright and will flash in front of this wall of pills. I’m working on the LED boards today so I have no photos to share at the moment.

The LED boards will be the shattered layer of the installation (I am not shattering those boards, they are too freaking expensive.) I’m using paper, ink and encaustic to show shattered and placing the finished artwork on the LED boards hanging in front of the pills but behind the Video screen.



Art Dilemma: Encaustic drip on my nice smooth encaustic piece.  The problem is if I iron it, there will be iron marks. I tried putting it on the warming pan and then it got this weird pattern.  I tried scraping it off of different piece and that worked but left a mark so, now, I’m trying to figure out whether I want to have a pimple or a scar?

The pierced layer will be a video. I’m sourcing video clips today. I’m using old video clips of people who looked pierced… or devastated or something along that lines. The video idea is still not concrete…we have 8 days to make it which is plenty of time to pivot in a totally different direction.



Self Portrait Series – More Than A Sugar Coating

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More Than A Sugar Coating – January 2016  Photograph by Emmy Horstkamp Digital/Encaustic Work in Progress

This photograph was taken this morning as I worked on something else.  I’m working at home and my blinds have these little spaces that create interesting shadows on my walls and on my face.

I decided this would look interesting for the more than a sugar coating series and snapped a photo.  Of course my house has house things in it and I decided to photoshop them away and add a few more shadows.  In the final piece I will work on those shadows a tiny bit before printing and working on them.

The whole More than a sugar coating comes from the following story that I wrote:

Girl, look at me.

Once I was young and l dreamed, like you. My head and heart were filled with dreams – fantasies that I carried around like the queen’s jewels.

Learn from me girl. Go out and make a beautiful reality with your dreams, don’t just keep them inside.

Girl, please, look at me.

Know that you can’t rely on your external beauty for happiness. It’s like a sugar coating on a gumball. It wears off, leaving behind something bland and tasteless. Make sure you’re a bon bon and not a gumball. Make sure that you are more than just a sugar coating with nothing interesting inside.

Why will you not look at me, girl?

My memories are there, lining my face and shining in my eyes. I lived my life. I loved life. Make sure you live a life you love.

Take a good look at me girl, and learn. The truth is there even if you don’t want to believe it.


Munich Artists 14 Colour Challenge


Bird Flock Together Photograph by Emmy Horstkamp 2-016

I’ve been working on the Munich Artists 14 day colour challenge this week.

This is something I’ve been doing for the last year and I really enjoy it – creating challenges for artists.  There are no rewards or prizes for the artists. If they finish the challenge, they have a body of work and the satisfaction of finishing a short term goal.

The challenges are not competitive and the artists are happy to share their work on our Facebook group for challenges.

For this challenge, I thought about doing one photograph and then one drawing/doodle but that isn’t working quite right. I did a sketch/doodle today in My Brooklyn sketchbook but I didn’t want to share it with the art group. It was at that moment, when I didn’t want to share, that I realised it was ok not to share and I will just post a photograph and leave the drawings out of the equation.

Why was it difficult to share the sketch?  I found it too personal and I guess when my sketchbook is scanned into the digital archives, it will be available to everyone but at this moment, I didn’t want to have immediate feedback on a personal experience which is what the sketchbook is recording (a sketch diary of 30 days.)



Crush Installation at Odeonsplatz

Here is the Odeonsplatz Installation.  There are four pieces of artwork and a video.  The installation is called Crush.

It originally was about a man I saw in the subway and then nobody showed up at my studio at Frauenstrasse 18 and I decided that the Crush would be TMNK a/k/a Nobody.   12469613_888031357971622_8695749958193068189_o

The piece on the left is by me (Emmy Horstkamp) and the piece on the right is by TMNK “Nobody.”   The video which is behind Nobody in the photo below loops from 900 in the morning until 2200 in the evening.  The video was created before the artwork and talks about being crushed.12494540_954368164618331_1522659990_o

The artwork on the wall is “crushed” together as the artwork would be on a street wall.  Nobody wanted the artwork to be on all four walls of the window but, if I asked him to paint a street wall several times, you would only see the last work which is what I’ve done in this installation. Behind my plan b Dorothy image and his praying man are two more images he created while at my studio.12494600_954368694618278_1762917436_o12511012_955085537879927_1609302309_o

The installation will be on the walls until the 30th and then I will be installing a new installation that will be up during the month of February.  The opportunity to put a second installation on the walls was offered to me yesterday and now, I have a few weeks to make a new video and artwork for the walls.  This time, the installation will be just me.  I don’t have time to collaborate with another artist but I have an idea for the video. This time, I will be working with the whole space of the window including the glass. (I have window markers and I’m not afraid to use them.)

A Woman Should Have


photo of Judith Ramirez Chaux

Words By Pamela Redmond (Glamour List from 1997).

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….Enough money within her control to move out…And rent a place of her own even if she never wants to or needs to…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….Something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to See Her in an hour…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …A youth she’s content to leave behind….

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….A past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her Old Age….

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….One friend who always makes her laugh…And one Who lets her cry…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her Family…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….Eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, And a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel Honored…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….A feeling of control over her destiny…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…How to fall in love without losing herself..



EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… That she can’t change the length of her calves, The width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…That her childhood may not have been perfect…But it’s over…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…What she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…How to live alone…Even if she doesn’t like it…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…Whom she can trust, Whom she can’t, And why she shouldn’t take it personally…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…Where to go…Be it to her best friend’s kitchen table…Or a charming inn in the woods…When her soul needs soothing…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…What she can and can’t accomplish in a day…A month…And a year…

I’m going to use the list for a series of art pieces.

The Crush Installation

I have an installation starting on January 4th with an American street artist.

Because he didn’t want to work on a blank canvas I transferred some photographs onto the paper using acetone.
 After a few hours, I ended up with these delicate abstractions.

When the street artist arrived and tackled the paper, I realized the delicate prints were no match for the ink drawings of the artist.  I would need to rethink the installation.

After working with the four art pieces, I decided to call the installation “crush” and use one image by the street artist and one by me for the front part of the installation with the other pieces layered closely behind as a deconstructed graffiti wall.

With the walls of my studio full, I grabbed the paper roll and took it home and taped it to my living room wall and started working.

To balance the installation, I needed to use an outdoor art voice not my indoor quiet/calm voice. I have never used an outside voice when painting so I wasn’t sure what would happen.

Here is my outdoor voice with the help of “plan B Dorthy”


Ink,marker,acrylic paint on paper.